Subculture: The Meaning of Style (New Accents Series) / Edition 1

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'Hebdige's Subculture: The Meaning of Style is so important: complex and remarkably lucid, it's the first book dealing with punk to offer intellectual content. Hebdige [...] is concerned with the UK's postwar, music-centred, white working-class subcultures, from teddy boys to mods and rockers to skinheads and punks.' - Rolling Stone

With enviable precision and wit Hebdige has addressed himself to a complex topic - the meanings behind the fashionable exteriors of working-class youth subcultures - approaching them with a sophisticated theoretical apparatus that combines semiotics, the sociology of devience and Marxism and come up with a very stimulating short book - Time Out

This book is an attempt to subject the various youth-protest movements of Britain in the last 15 years to the sort of Marxist, structuralist, semiotic analytical techniques propagated by, above all, Roland Barthes. The book is recommended whole-heartedly to anyone who would like fresh ideas about some of the most stimulating music of the rock era - The New York Times

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415039499
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 3/28/1981
  • Series: New Accents Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 309,360
  • Product dimensions: 4.80 (w) x 7.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Subculture and Style


From Culture to Hegemony



Holiday in the Sun: Mister Rotten Makes the Grade

Boredom in Babylon


Back to Africa

The Rastafarian


Reggae and Rastafarianism

Exodus: A Double Crossing


Hipsters, Beats and Teddy Boys

Home-grown Cool: The Style of the Mods

White Skins, Black Masks

Glam and Glitter Rock: Albino Camp and Other Diversions

Bleached Roots: Punks and White




The Function of Subculture

Specificity: Two Types of Teddy Boy

The Sources of Style

The Sources of Style


Subculture: The Unnatural Break

Two Forms of Incorporation


Style as Intentional Communication

Style as bricolage

Style in Revolt: Revolting Style


Style as Homology

Style as Signifying Practice


O.K., it's Culture, but is it Art?


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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2000

    Style as Statement

    Published in 1979 at the height of the punk movement in England, this book provides an understanding of the underlying motives of youth subcultures' often outrageous style. From safety pins to dyed hair, Hebdige takes us through the visual language employed by punks as they sought to upset the English Status Quo. With amazing insight and attention to historical context, race and class relations, Hebdige sets out a systematic analysis of the general problems confronting youth as they seek identity through their life-style. The methods employed by Hebdige are every bit as applicable to today's cultural phenomena as they were to the punk movement that he set out to explain and describe over twenty years ago. This book is a classic that should be on everyone's list. Whether you're interested in punk: music, fashion, sociology, culture or politics, this book is a great introduction.

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